Kaua’i nonprofit receives two grants, which will benefit chicken farmers

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A file photo of chickens. (Getty Images)

LIHU’E (KHON2) — Malama Kaua’i (MK) recently received two grants, one from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Beginning Farmer Rancher Development program and the other from Native American Agriculture Foundation, which they say will be used to provide start-up resources for chicken farmers.

“In our 2017 Kaua’i Farmer Survey, small livestock production was one of the top three areas that Kaua’i farmers wanted to expand into,” MK’s Executive Director Megan Fox said. “It’s great to provide education, but we’re more excited that we have the resources to actually out the farms so they can get started producing right away.”

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Malama Kaua’i is known for providing and increasing food production to their Kaua’i community since 2006 and is now starting their Poultry Egg Education Project (PEEP) to continue their food sustainability mission.

The PEEP program will deliver a seven-month educational program and provide over $2,500 in startup supplies for each farmer, which consist of chickens, coops, brooders, feed, and more.

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The purpose of the program is to help keep operating cost at a minimal for farmers through their cohort model, which will allow for cooperative-style buying to lower costs of feed and other supplies

In addition, Julius Ludovico, a chicken instructor and other guest speakers from across the state will be providing a broad range of egg production and techniques to interested farmers.

“Hawaii imports over 10 million eggs per year,” MK’s Program Manager Anni Caporuscio said. “We can start to chip away at that number to become more food secure, but we need to — and can — work together to have egg farms make sense economically.”

Finally, the nonprofit created a job opportunity through their PEEP program and is currently looking for an Administrative Assistant. Applicants interested may email Megan Fox at megan@malamakauai.org.

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MK’s farmer’s info session will be held via Zoom for those interested on Friday, Sept. 24 at 2:00 p.m.

For more information go to, MalamaKauai.org/peep.

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